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The Parliament House Art Collection focuses on contemporary Australian art encompassing a variety of media, including sculpture, paintings, photography, drawings, digital media, and decorative arts and crafts.

Many of these works are part of the Rotational Collection, which is displayed throughout the building to enhance the general circulation spaces, and in parliamentarians’ suites.  

The contemporary art and craft in the Parliament House Art Collection reflects aspects of Australian culture, character and identity, and showcases the best of Australian contemporary art and craft practice. Collecting started in 1984, with the major purchasing taking place from 1985 to 1987, when over 2,800 artworks were acquired. 

Margaret Olley (1923–2011) Limes and green chest, Duxford Street, c.1972

Margaret Olley (1923–2011),
Limes and green chest, Duxford Street, c.1972
Oil on board
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra

 

Margaret Olley was a prolific still-life painter and received the Order of Australia in 1991 for her services as an artist and for the promotion of visual art in Australia. Olley painted everyday objects that surrounded her, including vases of flowers, bowls of fruit and subjects from her Sydney home (with occasional hints of the outside world), transforming them into objects of beauty and elegance.

Pro Hart (1928–2006) The four horse race, 1987

Pro Hart (1928–2006)
The four horse race, 1987
Oil on board
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, ACT.

 

Kevin Charles 'Pro' Hart MBE was a popular painter of outback Australia. Some of Hart's most sought-after subjects were his depictions of country horseracing carnivals, particularly those in his hometown of Broken Hill. 

Clifton Pugh (1924–1990) Richmond, north west Queensland, 1973, Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, ACT.

Clifton Pugh (1924–1990)
Richmond, north west Queensland, 1973
Gouache on paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Born in Victoria, Pugh’s artistic style is characterised by loose brushstrokes and layering of paint, creating works that are both expressionistic and figurative. Pugh worked within a nexus between art and politics; he painted a number of portraits of politicians including an Archibald Prize-winning portrait of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. The unique landscape of the Australian bush is a recurring theme in Pugh’s work.

John R. Walker (born 1957) Bouddi, 1987

John R. Walker (born 1957)
Bouddi, 1987
Oil on canvas
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Bouddi depicts the meeting between dense Australian scrub and the ocean. The coastal scene is one of many paintings in the Parliament House Art Collection that depict the land and our interaction with it. Walker completed an Art Diploma at the Alexander Mackie College, Sydney and has exhibited annually since 1979. In the early 2000s, Walker moved from Sydney to the small town of Braidwood, NSW. Inspired by a residency at Australian painter Arthur Boyd’s former home in Bundanon, NSW, he established a studio so that he lives within the landscape he depicts.

Guan Wei (born 1957) The Great War of the Eggplant, 1994

Guan Wei (born 1957)
The Great War of the Eggplant, 1994
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Guan Wei first came to Australia in 1989 to take up an artist-in-residency at the Tasmanian School of Art. His work often portrays stories that explore his experiences living in China and Australia.

In The Great War of the Eggplant, Wei parallels his own story of coming to Australia. While the graphic style is almost cartoon-like, Wei’s work conveys serious messages about national identity, immigration and cultural dislocation. Wei takes the eggplant, which originated in South America and is now a staple in Indian, Chinese, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, as a symbol of movement between cultures.  

Judy Cassab (1920–2015) Eclipse, 1985

Judy Cassab (1920–2015)
Eclipse, 1985
Oil on canvas
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Judy Cassab emigrated to Australia from Vienna in 1951. She is best known as a prolific portrait painter, creating portraits of key business, artistic, political and social figures. This landscape painting resulted from one of the artist’s numerous visits to central Australia in 1959. The visits had a great effect on her work, and she described this area as her 'spiritual home'.

Vipoo Srivilasa (born 1969) New Family II, 2014.

Vipoo Srivilasa (born 1969)
New Family II, 2014
Glazed porcelain with blue and gold pigments
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Srivilasa moved from Thailand to Australia in 1997 to undertake a Master of Fine Art and Design, specialising in Ceramics, at the University of Tasmania. Now working and living in Melbourne, Srivilasa works predominantly in ceramics but also produces animation, works on paper and mixed media sculptures. Best known for his blue and white designs, his work has been concerned with contemporary social, political and ethical issues, as well as his experience living between two cultures. These ceramic works are a playful blend of historical figurative and decorative art practices.

Joseph McGlennon (born 1957) Florilegium #1, 2014

Joseph McGlennon (born 1957)
Florilegium #1, 2014
Giclee digital print on paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Joseph McGlennon arrived in Australia in 1964 and came to photography after a 25-year career in branding and advertising. His process involves capturing hundreds of different photographs that are painstakingly layered and arranged to arrive at the final image.

McGlennon’s work Florilegium #1 references the curiosity of early European settlers about Australia’s native flora and fauna and the concept of florilegium (a Latin term meaning ‘collecting botanicals’). Photographed in Madagascar, Tahiti and Singapore, in Florilegium #1, McGlennon has captured each bird, flower, vine and butterfly and created an imaginary florilegium landscape.

Alan Cruickshank (born 1953) WWI South Australian War Memorials 1983–1986: Copper Triangle north of Moonta, 1983–1986

Alan Cruickshank (born 1953)
WWI South Australian War Memorials 1983–1986: Copper Triangle north of Moonta, 1983–1986
Archival digital print on paper
Centenary of Anzac Acquisition, Parliament House Art Collection

 

This work is part of a series by photographer Alan Cruickshank presenting black and white views of First World War Memorials located throughout South Australia.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 1, 2015

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956)
Parliament House - Canberra 1, 2015
Ink, watercolour and pencil on arches paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Simon Fieldhouse is a Sydney-based artist best known for watercolours that depict historical architecture with unexpected points of interest.

This work is part of a series acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection in 2015. The series depicts various views of Parliament House, with whimsical figures added to each composition.  Here, Canberra’s iconic landmarks and layout is the imaginary setting for an exciting jump by five brightly coloured skydivers.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 2, 2015

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956)
Parliament House - Canberra 2, 2015
Ink, watercolour and pencil on arches paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Simon Fieldhouse is a Sydney-based artist best known for watercolours that depict historical architecture with unexpected points of interest.

This work is part of a series acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection in 2015. The series depicts various views of Parliament House, with whimsical figures added to each composition.  This drawing presents the view of Parliament House from Anzac Parade, looking south across Lake Burley Griffin and Old Parliament House. Amongst the trees on the right, a boy floats skyward clutching a bunch of balloons.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 3, 2015

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956)
Parliament House - Canberra 3, 2015
Ink, watercolour and pencil on arches paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Simon Fieldhouse is a Sydney-based artist best known for watercolours that depict historical architecture with unexpected points of interest.

This work is part of a series acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection in 2015. The series depicts various views of Parliament House, with whimsical figures added to each composition.  This work depicts an aerial view of Parliament House from the north with the bold design of Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp architects clearly visible. All is not as it seems though, as a small boy flies past in a life-size paper plane.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 4, 2015.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956)
Parliament House - Canberra 4, 2015
Ink, watercolour and pencil on arches paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Simon Fieldhouse is a Sydney-based artist best known for watercolours that depict historical architecture with unexpected points of interest.

This work is part of a series acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection in 2015. The series depicts various views of Parliament House, with whimsical figures added to each composition.  This work shows the front entrance of Parliament House – with the unusual addition of a sword emerging from the forecourt pond.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 5, 2015.

Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956)
Parliament House - Canberra 5, 2015
Ink, watercolour and pencil on arches paper
Parliament House Art Collection

 

Simon Fieldhouse is a Sydney-based artist best known for watercolours that depict historical architecture with unexpected points of interest.

This work is part of a series acquired by the Parliament House Art Collection in 2015. The series depicts various views of Parliament House, with whimsical figures added to each composition. This view is of the Marble Foyer at the entrance of Parliament House. His meticulous rendering of the foyer is juxtaposed by the inclusion of two men in suits playing tug-of-war amongst the pillars.

William Mackinnon (born 1978) You know what I mean, 2015.

William Mackinnon (born 1978)
You know what I mean, 2015
Synthetic polymer paint and oil on canvas
Parliament House Art Collection

 

William Mackinnon describes himself as a self-taught and intuitive artist. Mackinnon has represented the road in his paintings for many years. This painting reflects the tradition of the ‘road trip’ in the Australian psyche and how it shapes our experience of the landscape.

Margaret Olley (1923–2011) Limes and green chest, Duxford Street, c.1972
Pro Hart (1928–2006) The four horse race, 1987
Clifton Pugh (1924–1990) Richmond, north west Queensland, 1973, Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, ACT.
John R. Walker (born 1957) Bouddi, 1987
Guan Wei (born 1957) The Great War of the Eggplant, 1994
Judy Cassab (1920–2015) Eclipse, 1985
Vipoo Srivilasa (born 1969) New Family II, 2014.
Joseph McGlennon (born 1957) Florilegium #1, 2014
Alan Cruickshank (born 1953) WWI South Australian War Memorials 1983–1986: Copper Triangle north of Moonta, 1983–1986
Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 1, 2015
Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 2, 2015
Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 3, 2015
Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 4, 2015.
Simon Fieldhouse (born 1956) Parliament House - Canberra 5, 2015.
William Mackinnon (born 1978) You know what I mean, 2015.
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